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Relative Associations
of the 8 Archetypal Signs of the I Ching
with the 8 Archetypal Characters of Dramatica

by Anthony Noa

If you will notice each of the trigrams below that are side-by-side , omitting the primary trigrams - Creative and Receptive, are diametrically opposed to each other, but are also complementary by the position of their ruling line (the one line that is different from the other two). The position of the ruling line is in the same place, either top, middle or bottom. Each of the three places represent man's relationship to his world: yielding-dark-earth (bottom), the mores of man - love and rectitude (middle), and strong-light-heaven (top). That they complement and oppose each other demonstrate their complex interrelationship. This suits well the purposes of Dramatica's theory on the development of complex characters and the Story Mind.
Protagonist / Creative Antagonist / Receptive
Strong: Heaven

Pro-active; initiates movement, is source of the beginning and end in all things

Among men it means the prince, the leader, the one who stands in the center of the field of action

Yielding; Earth

Re-active; counters movement, demanding worship in all things

Among men it means the many, the multitude without conscience, the one who stands below the field of action.

The ruling lines are not as apparent because all the lines are the same in each trigram. Since the I Ching's intentions are directed towards man, then the middle place is is the central and ruler of the trigram. This pair of trigrams are even more complex than the others. Not only do their ruling positions and lines oppose and compliment, but through the combination of their archetypal lines they give rise to the other six trigrams. In essence, each of the other six trigrams has in its nature the core of heaven and earth (protagonist and antagonist), and given the right situation (as in I Ching's elemental situations) they can move one way or the other, depending on what is influencing them.
Guardian / Gentle Contagonist / Arousing
Penetrating; Wind/Wood

All things are brought to completion in this sign; guidance towards perfection and purity; morality.

Among men it means the gray-haired, or those with broad foreheads (wisdom).

Inciting Movement; Thunder

Initiates sub-conscious stirrings, propagator of the unknown; causes questionable events

Among men it means vehemence; disruptive by nature it causes things to pause and take notice.

These two trigrams represent the first meeting of the Creative and Receptive (Heaven and Earth), and you could look at them as representing Adam and Eve in the Christian religion. In the Arousing you have the Father going to the Mother to beget its first son. In the Gentle you have the Mother going to the Father to beget the first daughter. Since these are the first children of the Creative and Receptive their ruling lines are on the bottom. In contrast to each other, Heaven is above in one and below in the other.

Thunder and wind are powerful when paired. They are one of the few creative-active forces, rather than passive, that resembles the power of the Creative and the Receptive. When paired they bring either the elemental situation Increase (Gentle on top of Arousing), or Duration (Arousing on top of Gentle).

It is interesting to note that pairing the Guardian Archetype to the Gentle you could say the ruling trigram (which is on top) can point to the elemental situation Increase, which suits the basic nature of the Guardian. "Wind and Thunder; the image of INCREASE. Thus the superior man: if he sees good, he imitates it; If he sees faults, he rids himself of them." This definitely points to the action man takes in regards to morality - a great description of the archetypal character, Guardian.

Using this same example for the Contagonist the elemental situation of Duration on its dark side is stated thus - "Restlessness as an enduring condition brings misfortune... when one loses his inner consistency or character his actions interfere with good influences..." This is a good description the Contagonist's archetypal character of placing obstacles in the way of "good influences".

Sidekick / Clinging Skeptic / Abysmal
Clarity; Light-giving; Fire

Causes all creatures to perceive one another - assist and support one another

Among men it means the big-bellied (comfort), and provides protection

Dangerous; Water

Danger precedes doubt and uncertainty, and water is always twisting and turning;

Among men it means the melancholy, those with "sick" hearts.

These two trigrams are the second time the Creative and the Receptive meet to beget children. Each of their ruling lines are in the same place, that of man - or more specifically, the two attributes that make man part of the earth and the divine, Love and Rectitude. Also, as each ruling line is central in the trigram structure, it connotes that they receive action as opposed to initiating action. This is usually a passive state, though not always. Sometimes, because of strong influences when combined with other trigrams, action must be taken in the face of not wanting to. This suggest the passive (passenger) roles that are part of the Sidekick's and Skeptic's archetypal nature described in Dramatica.

Using the same example as we did in Guardian/Gentle and Contagonist/Arousing we have the ruling trigram Cling on top of Abysmal to use as reference for the Sidekick. This is Before Completion. It is stated thus: "Before completion friends foregather in an atmosphere of mutual trust...", and... "... the strong line in 4th place represents the strong official who assists the gentle ruler (who is the weak line in the 5th place), and therefore helps him carry out his will". BEFORE COMPLETION definitely suggest the nature of the archetypal role of the Sidekick.

In contrast the ruling trigram of the Abysmal over the Clinging gives us its opposite After Completion. It is stated: "...Water over Fire: the image of the condition in AFTER COMPLETION. Thus the superior man takes thought of misfortune and arms himself against it in advance." This statement suggest that one doubts the future and expects trouble. This clearly indicates the nature of the archetypal character of the Skeptic.

Emotion / Joyous Reason / Keeping Still
Joyous; Lake

It is where all things come to abundance causing wild abandon; a lake can be calm and turbulent

Among men it means mouth and tongue - smashing and breaking, dropping off and bursting open.

Resting; Mountain

It is where the beginnings and endings of all things are known; it is calm and solid like a mountain

Among men it means the watchful - the fingers which hold things in its grasp.

This pair of trigrams represent the last time the Creative and Receptive meet, and usually stands for completion. (Note: the elemental situations of the trigrams Abysmal and Clinging mentioned above relates to what goes on after and before completion as opposed to completion). The ruling lines of these trigrams stand at the top and represent outcomes or what is leaving a situation. Once again, this points to a passive nature. Like the Abysmal and the Clinging, certain coupling of trigrams will produce forced action, their nature is to be passive. This points again to the passive (passenger) roles they play in the archetypal character Dramatica describes.

Each ruling line stands in the place of Heaven and, as signs of completion, each have their particular way of expressing it. The Joyous represents outward releasing effects of bottled up energy (strong lines bursting upwards through the earth); Keeping Still represents a calm inward assimilation of all that it perceives (strong line above it all like a mountain stands on the earth). Notice that each trigram's lines are in opposition to the places the other trigrams lines hold, but are complementing each other through the ruling line -- each are at the top. Simplicity and complexity are at the heart of the I Ching's archetypal signs.

Once again we will examine the coupling of the trigrams beginning with the Joyous as the ruling trigram and above Keeping still, and is used to express Emotion. This coupling gives us INFLUENCE / WOOING. I have to believe that this is not a coincidence. This elemental situation represents courtship and marriage, the foundations of all relationships. It is stated thus: "If one is agitated in mind his thoughts go hither and thither...", and... "... here the place of the heart is reached... influence over others should not express itself as a conscious and willed effort to manipulate... through practicing such conscious incitement, one becomes wrought up and is exhausted by the eternal stress and strain..." This can easily represent Dramatica's archetypal character Emotion.

In contrast, with Keeping Still over Joyous, we have DECREASE. The coupling gives us this judgment: "...The Image: At the foot of the mountain, the lake: The image of DECREASE. Thus the superior man controls his anger and restrains his instincts..." Once again this coupling definitely reinforces the idea behind Dramatica's archetypal nature of Reason.


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About Dramatica and StoryWeaver

Hi, I'm Melanie Anne Phillips, creator of StoryWeaver, co-creator of Dramatica and owner of Storymind.com.  If you have a moment, I'd like to tell you about  these two story development tools - what each is designed to do, how each works alone on a different part of story development and how they can be used together to cover the entire process from concept to completion of your novel or screenplay.

What They Do

Dramatica is a tool to help you build a perfect story structure.  StoryWeaver is a tool to help you build your story's world.  Dramatica focuses on the underlying logic of your story, making sure there are no holes or inconsistencies.  StoryWeaver focuses on the creative process, boosting your inspiration and guiding it to add depth, detail and passion  to your story.

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Dramatica has the world's only patented interactive Story Engine� which cross-references your answers to questions about your dramatic intent, then finds any weaknesses in your structure and even suggests the best ways to strengthen them.

StoryWeaver uses a revolutionary new creative format as you follow more than 200 Story Cards� step by step through the story development process.  You'll design the people who'll inhabit your story's world, what happens to them, and what it all means.

How They Work Together

By itself Dramatic appeals to structural writers who like to work out all the details of their stories logically before they write a word.  By itself, StoryWeaver appeals to intuitive writers who like to follow their Muse and develop their stories as they go.

But, the finished work of a structural writer can often lack passion, which is where StoryWeaver can help.  And the finished work of an intuitive writer can often lack direction, which is where Dramatica can help.

So, while each kind of writer will find one program or the other the most initially appealing, both kinds of writers can benefit from both programs.

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